Speech and Language Therapy: How It Helps?

Speech and language therapy is the treatment aimed to help with communication disorders. It can help people with conditions such as speech and language delay, dementia, dysarthria, and speech sound disorders regain their ability to communicate effectively.


speech and language therapy for adults

Common speech and language disorders in adults

Speech and language disorders refer to problems in communication and related skills. These disorders can make it hard to understand others, express yourself, and connect with other people.


Common speech and language disorders include:

  • Articulation disorder: This is a problem producing sounds correctly when speaking. A person with an articulation disorder may be difficult to understand because they substitute, leave out, or add sounds when they speak.

  • Fluency disorder: Also called stuttering, this is a problem with the flow of speech. A person who stutters may repeat words or parts of words, or have pauses between words.

  • Language disorder: This refers to difficulty understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings (expressive language). A child with a language disorder may have trouble following directions, answering questions, or talking in sentences. Adults may have difficulty finding the right words, organizing what they want to say, or understanding complex information.

  • Voice disorder: This is a problem with the pitch, volume, or quality of the voice. A person with a voice disorder may sound hoarse, breathe heavily when speaking, or have an abnormal pitch.


In adults, there are common reasons for speech disorders. This includes problems with the teeth, mouth, or throat, neurologic conditions such as stroke or Parkinson's disease, and psychological conditions such as anxiety or depression. But one of the most common ones is dementia. 


Dementia is a common reason for speech disorders because it can influence communication abilities. Dementia can make it hard to understand others, express yourself, and connect with other people.


One of the most difficult things about dementia is watching your loved one gradually lose the ability to communicate. This is one of the symptoms that people with dementia experience. However, there is hope! Speech therapy can help slow down this process and improve your loved one's quality of life.


Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Memory loss is an early symptom of dementia. Other early symptoms may include problems with emotional reactions, judgment, planning, and organizing. 


As the disease progresses, symptoms may become more severe. People with dementia may have difficulty communicating, swallowing, and eventually become completely unresponsive.


Symptoms include difficulty remembering recent events, trouble following conversations or directions, repeating questions or statements, new problems with words when speaking, getting lost in familiar places, poor judgment and decision making, withdrawing from work or social activities, and changes in mood and personality


Although there is currently no cure for dementia, there are treatments that can help to manage the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. With the right support, people with dementia can still lead meaningful and fulfilling lives.


One symptom of adults with dementia is the loss of the ability to communicate. This can make it difficult for caregivers and family members to understand what the person with dementia wants or needs. 


Speech therapy can help improve communication by teaching the person with dementia different ways to express themselves. For example, if a person with dementia is having trouble finding the right word, a speech therapist might teach them how to use gestures or pictures to communicate. If a person with dementia is having trouble understanding what other people are saying, a speech therapist might teach them how to use lip reading or sign language.


Speech and language therapy also helps people with dementia cope with the changes in their abilities. For example, a speech therapist might help a person with dementia who is having trouble eating solid foods to learn how to swallow a much easier food consistency. 


Speech therapy is a treatment that can help people with dementia communicate more effectively and slow down the progression of the disease. The goals of speech therapy are to improve communication skills and help people with dementia to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible. They can also help people with dementia cope with the swallowing difficulties that come with the condition.


Speech therapy can also help people with dementia to use alternative methods of communication. This includes techniques such as gestures or pictures if they are having difficulty speaking. Speech therapists also help them cope with the changes in their ability to communicate. 


Another factor that can affect communication skills is their psychosocial status. Speech therapists also assess social and emotional factors that may be impacting a person's ability to communicate to improve expressing their emotions and socialization skills. It is also important for people with dementia to be a part of group activities. This can help reduce boredom, isolation, and depression.


In order to be effective, speech therapy must be tailored to the individual. The severity of the symptoms, the rate of progression, and the person's goals for treatment will all be considered when creating a speech therapy plan.


child messing around

Common speech and language disorders in children

For many people, speaking is something that comes naturally. However, for some, speaking can be a real challenge. Children are constantly learning and growing. Their speech and language development is no exception.


In fact, language skills develop faster during childhood than at any other time in life. This means that kids may struggle with understanding and producing some common words.


Chances are, if you've ever had a conversation with a child, you've noticed that they often mispronounce words. This is perfectly normal! This is because children are still learning how to produce the various sounds of language and it takes time and practice to get them all correct. However, some children continue to struggle with pronunciation well into childhood and beyond. This can be a sign of a speech disorder.


Moreover, there are some reasons why children experience trouble producing specific sounds, including:

  • Anomalies in the tongue, teeth, or palate: If a child is born with an abnormality in their tongue, teeth, or palate, it can make it difficult for them to produce certain sounds.

  • Hearing impairments: If a child cannot hear properly, they will also have trouble understanding how sounds are supposed to be produced. This can make it difficult for them to learn to speak.

  • Autism spectrum disorder: Children with ASD often have difficulty with social communication and interaction. This can include difficulties with spoken language.

  • Cerebral palsy: This condition affects movement and muscle tone. It can make it difficult for children to produce the coordinated movements necessary for speech.

  • Down syndrome: This condition can cause delays in many different areas of development, including speech and language skills.


Children’s Articulation and Speech Sound Development

There are certain sounds, however, that kids seem to struggle with more than others. This is because some sounds are more difficult to produce than others. That's why a lot of the words that are commonly mispronounced by kids will have similar sounds that they have difficulty with. Here are five common examples:


1. The "th" sound: This sound can be difficult for kids to produce because they have to place their tongue between their teeth and then release it quickly. As a result, it's common for children to substitute other sounds for "th," such as "f" or "s." For example, children can use “fink” for “think”.


2. The "r" sound: This sound is produced by vibrating the tongue against the back of the teeth. It can be difficult for kids to get the hang of it, so they often substitute other sounds, such as "w" or "l." For example, “wabbit” for “rabbit”, and “wed” for “red”.


3. The "s" sound: This sound is made by placing the tongue between the teeth and then releasing it quickly. Because of this, it's common for kids to mispronounce it as "th" or "z." For example, your child can say “tun” for “sun”.


4. The "sh" sound: This sound is made by placing the tongue behind the top front teeth and then releasing it quickly. Like "s," this can be difficult for kids to get right, so they often substitute other sounds, such as "ch" or "j."


5. The "l" sound: This sound is made by placing the tongue behind the top front teeth and then releasing it quickly. Because of this, it's common for kids to mispronounce it as "w" or "r." One of the examples of words with L as the initial sound is “wight” for “light”.


These sounds develop at a specific time frame. If children are still mispronouncing them by a certain age, it may be time to consult with a speech therapist. A therapist can help identify any underlying issues and provide exercises and techniques to improve pronunciation.


If you're still concerned about your child's speech development, don't hesitate to reach out to a qualified professional for help. Early intervention is crucial for addressing speech disorders. So the sooner you seek help, the better. With the right guidance and support, your child can learn to speak clearly and confidently.


Speech and language therapists have a caseload of children with various difficulties in speech. They will also have different ways of working to support the child and their family. It is important that families feel they can openly discuss any concerns they have about their child's development so that realistic goals can be set.


Speech and language therapists help children with a wide variety of difficulties that can impact their lives in many different ways. They often work with other agencies and professionals to ensure that the child gets the best possible support.



speech and language sound development

One of the most common questions parents asked a speech therapist is "At what age will my child's speech sound development be complete?" Speech sounds develop at different rates for each individual. That means, there is no one answer to this question. However, there is a speech sound development chart that can give you an idea of where your child falls within the typical range of development.


This chart includes all of the speech sounds typically mastered by age 8. Keep in mind that some children may not master all of these sounds until they are older. Some children may already have mastered some or all of these sounds at a younger age. So don't worry if your child's speech development falls outside of the ranges on this chart - every child is unique!


When children learn how to talk, they start with simple sounds and gradually add more complex sounds. This process starts with babbling, which is when babies make speech-like noises that don't have any meaning.


Babbling usually begins around 6 months of age. From there, babies begin to produce their first words, typically around 12 months of age. However, it's important to keep in mind that speech development is different for every child.


Some children may start babbling earlier or later than others, and some may start producing words earlier or later than others. There is a wide range of what is considered "normal" when it comes to speech development.


Speech sound development is a process that starts early in life. Sounds that develop first are typically those that are easiest to produce, such as vowels and simple consonants like /p/, /b/, and /m/. As children get older, they learn to produce more complex speech sounds, such as /k/ and /g/. By age 8, most children have mastered all of the speech sounds in the English language.


There are several factors that can influence speech sound development. As children develop their oral and motor skills, they learn to produce speech sounds. The process of learning to produce speech sounds starts with hearing the sound in words. Then, children practice making the sound themselves. With practice, they learn to produce the speech sound correctly.


While speech sounds develop gradually, there are some speech sounds that tend to be mastered at a particular age. However, some children have difficulty producing certain speech sounds. This may be due to an anatomical difficulty such as a cleft lip and/or palate or misaligned teeth.


It can also be due to a neurological disorder such as cerebral palsy. Or it can simply be because your child has a hard time learning to produce a particular sound. So if a child is having difficulty producing speech sounds, this may mean he or she has a speech sound disorder.


There are many speech sound disorders such as articulation disorder and phonological disorder. Articulation disorder is the most common type of speech sound disorder. This happens when a child has difficulty producing speech sounds correctly. An example of an articulation disorder includes substituting /k/ for /t/, and saying "wabbit" for "rabbit". A more common speech sound that children have difficulty with is the sounds /s/ and /z/. An example of this is saying "thun" for "sun".


Phonological disorder is when a child has difficulty using speech sounds correctly in words and phrases. An example of this is saying "tat" for "cat". This is an example of fronting, a phonological disorder. Other types of phonological disorders include backing (saying "bu for "cow"), Cluster Reduction (saying "nana" for "banana"), and Gliding (saying "yiyi" for "lion").


Whatever speech disorder a child has, a speech therapist can help! First, they will assess what type of speech sound disorder your child has. They can also determine the underlying cause of the speech sound disorder. They will develop a treatment plan to help your child improve his or her speech sound production.


During speech therapy, they teach children how to produce the correct sounds. They may also recommend exercises or activities that can help the child practice producing the correct sounds. In some cases, speech therapy may be all that is needed to help a child overcome a speech sound disorder. In other cases, additional interventions, such as medication or surgery, may be necessary.


It is the speech therapist's job to help children with speech sound disorders. There are many different speech sounds and each one develops at its own pace. Some speech sounds are easy to produce, while others are more difficult. It is important for speech therapists to understand the typical timeline for speech sound development so they can identify when a child might be struggling.


child learning words

When teaching your toddler their first words, it's important to choose functional words that they will actually use in conversation. These words help toddlers communicate what they want and need, and can make interactions with others much easier. This will not only help your child communicate, but it can also help you understand your child better.


Functional words are words that help to describe the function of something. For example, "the" is a functional word because it helps to identify the subject of a sentence. Some of the most important functional words to teach your toddler include "Please" and "thank you". These politeness words are essential for helping your child learn how to interact with others.


"Yes" and "no" are also functional words. These basic words can help your child understand simple requests and commands. Another functional words are "I" and "me": Teaching your child to use these personal pronouns can help them start to develop a sense of self.


Functional words are usually verbs than nouns. Verbs are "action" words, and help to describe what someone is doing. Some of the most important verbs to teach your toddler include "eat", "drink", "go", and "come". These basic verbs can help your child communicate their needs and wants.


Here are some of the most functional words to teach your toddler first:


1) "No" can be hard for parents to hear. However, it is one of the most important words to teach your toddler to learn and understand the concept of boundaries. They can also express their preference such as choosing what food to eat without getting frustrated about why mommy gave her a cucumber instead of milk!


2) The word "more" indicates a desire for more of something. It can be used to request more food, drink, or anything else that your child may want. An example of how this word can be used is when you are eating and your child needs "more" food.


3) Learning the word "mine" helps toddlers understand the concept of ownership and can be used to request items that they want. It is also a useful word for communicating with others about what belongs to them without whining.


4) If your toddler likes to be carried right, teach them to say "UP". It can be used to request. It can also be used to ask for something to be handed to them or to indicate a desire to move something else.


5) If toddlers want to be carried, they also want to go down, especially when at the park! "DOWN" indicates an immense desire to go down or to move something down.


Teaching your child a few key adjectives can also be helpful. Even though nouns may be acquired earlier, they are not as stable or durable as verbs when it comes to long-term development.


The difference between nouns and verbs is that verbs are more important for communication and serve a vital purpose in early language development. Therefore, it is more beneficial for your child to focus on learning verbs vs. nouns in early speech and language development. This will help them get their needs met more easily and decrease frustration.


During speech and language therapy, speech therapists also work with functional words first before targeting words such as alphabets and letters. There are lots of functional words to work on first to help make your toddler's interactions with others more smooth and more enjoyable. In speech and language therapy, they choose the words that they think will be most useful for your child.


Functional words are an important part of communication. By teaching your toddler some of the most useful functional words, you can help them start to develop their communication skills. Choose words that are most relevant to your child's everyday life, and that you think they will find most useful. Start with a few basic words, and then build up your child's vocabulary as they become more confident in using functional words.


If you want to talk to a speech therapist about functional words, contact us now! At Better Speech, we offer online speech therapy services for you or your child's speech and language needs! Online speech therapy is a growing field that offers many benefits for both therapists and patients.


By using video conferencing software, therapists can provide individualized care to patients from the comfort of their own homes. This type of therapy is also convenient for busy parents who may not be able to take their child to a traditional therapy office.


In addition, online speech therapy is often more affordable than in-person therapy, making it an attractive option for families on a budget. And because it eliminates the need for travel, online speech therapy can be a great option for those who live in remote areas.


If you are looking for speech therapy, Better Speech is the most convenient, effective and affordable solution. Click here to book your free consultation today.